The writer of Hebrews is addressing the issues of stagnant faith. There were people who believed in Jesus with Gentile influence during that time. After Jesus died on the cross, resurrected and ascended up to heaven, people were portraying their faith in Jesus in their own culture and ways, rather than knowing Jesus correctly. That mistake is similarly made today, people who claim to walk with Jesus do not really know who Jesus is.
The writer of Hebrews is introducing Jesus and described Jesus the Son in 7 different descriptions. Jesus came down as the Son of God to show us what a true son should be like.
1. He is the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:1-2)
Jesus is the Word that came to us. Jesus is the heir of “all things”. “All things” include the physical and spiritual realm. According to Apostle Paul, we are born again through Jesus (1 Peter 1:3-5). When we say Jesus is the heir of all things, we need to believe that if we believe in Jesus, we are together with Jesus, co-heir of all things (1 Peter 1:18-19). We are born to inherit the curses, punishments, sins of our forefathers. However, we are born again through the blood of Christ, so we can now inherit all the heavenly things, just as Jesus inherited them (1 Peter 1:21, 1 Peter 1:23). When we realise the vastness and greatness of the inheritance that we are to receive, things in this world will not look so attractive.
2. He is the creator (Hebrews 1:2)
“The worlds” refer to the physical and spiritual realm. Jesus is the power and essence of the Word that created the whole universe (John 1:1-3). Melchizedek introduces Abraham to God in the Old Testament, describing God as “God Most High”. Meaning this God is sovereign over all creation, and this same God is in your life. Jesus is the One who was with God, through whom God created the whole universe and us. This same Word that created the universe will bring this age to an end, and the same Word will give us eternal life (John 8:51).
3. He is the radiance of His glory (Hebrews 1:3)
Radiance in Greek is ἀπαύγασμα (apaugasma) and it means radiance, brightness. The light of God’s glory allows us to see God and understand the truth. When Jesus is the radiance of His glory, that means through Jesus, people can understand and see the glory of God. Just as we don’t look at the sun (God) directly, but through you, people can see the wonderful glory of God. Let us pray that the light of God’s Word will shine through us so that God can use us to testify of His Word.
4. Jesus is the exact representation of His nature (Hebrews 1:3)
The Greek word for representation is χαρακτήρ (kharaktare), which means the character, essence of something. When God created us, He created mankind to be representations of God. Jesus is the exact representation, meaning He will think and do the same things that the Father does. May our lives be transformed so that what we do and want will become what Father does and wants.
5. He is the one who upholds all things (Hebrews 1:3)
Uphold in Greek is φέρω (fer’o), which means to bear, bring forth, maintain and keep. Jesus Christ is the Word of redemption. The fall took place when things went the wrong way. Jesus is the one who will uphold and bring it back to the original intended state. That work of upholding is like the work of administration in the History of Redemption. The word ‘administration’ is from the Greek word ‘oikonomia’. The word administration includes the planning, execution of the plan, and coming up with results for God’s redemptive work. Jesus is the manager and He is inviting us to be part of His administration of History of Redemption.
In Genesis, in the creation work, there was chaos, but through the Word that God sent forth, that chaos became order according to God’s Word. As a result, there was Sabbath under God’s reign. In the New Testament, upon people who are in chaos because of sin, God sends forth the Word in the flesh who is Jesus Christ. When the Word came forth, from a sinful state Jesus brought salvation and Jesus now brings us eternal Sabbath.
God upholds all things by the Word of His power. That Word is also called covenant. When God came down to Egypt to save His people, He came down and said because He remembered His covenant given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is because the Israelites had the Word of God’s power, that God came down.
The writer of Hebrews is speaking to Jews going through difficulties and hardships in faith. Christ came as the Word, to give us the Word, to save and uphold us. For salvation to take place in our life, that Word needs to come alive.
6. He is the One who purifies sins (Hebrews 1:3)
In order for us to go to heaven, our sins have to be removed. We need to come to the cross and repent. In order for us to do that, we still need His help and the help of the Holy Spirit. That is why when we believe in Jesus and seriously learn God’s Word, there are changes that happen in our lives.
Many times, these are good changes, but sometimes undesirable changes. Through the difficulties in our work and life, God allows me to see my sinfulness, so I can repent and He can wash away all our sins. We need to put away and take out any obstacle in the path where we are coming closer to God.
7. He is the one who sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3)
This is the conclusion of what Jesus did.
Psalm 110:1 mentioned Melchizedek, begins with Father speaking to the Son to sit at His right hand. The work is not yet completed, Jesus died on the cross, resurrected, ascended up to heaven, now sits at the right hand of the Father until the final victory. Through the Bible, we know Jesus is mediating and praying for us, until the final victory when enemies become footstools of God.
We can rest assured that even though we are going through difficulties and hardships, Jesus has gained victory. Through the redemptive work, Jesus is showing us where we belong next to God. Let us pray that Father through these hardships, He will help us to hold on to faith, and this is the pathway to the throne of God (Ephesians 2:4-7, Revelation 3:20-21).
Why did God have to send Jesus to die in this world? The world thinks it is useless. Many things we do in our lives seem useless to the world, waking up early to come for Sunday service, uselessly spending money on offering, uselessly spending effort and time. Sometimes when we serve and sacrifice for God, we may seem to have wasted our lives and time. Jesus came down because of me. We serve Jesus because we love Jesus. What the world thinks as useless, God views as priceless. When God thinks it is valuable, there is greater blessings for us.